Written answers

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Department of Environment, Community and Local Government

Local Authority Funding

Photo of Stephen DonnellyStephen Donnelly (Wicklow, Independent)
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108. To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government in view of the local government reforms and the proposed increased fiscal responsibilities at a municipal council level, if he will provide a breakdown of local property tax revenues on a municipal council level for 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47195/13]

Photo of Phil HoganPhil Hogan (Minister, Department of Environment, Community and Local Government; Carlow-Kilkenny, Fine Gael)
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The local government funding model will change considerably in 2014. Under the Finance (Local Property Tax) Act 2012, commencing in 2014, the Minister for Finance will pay into the Local Government Fund an amount equivalent to the Local Property Tax paid into the Central Fund during that year. This revenue will be allocated to local authorities from the Fund. In addition, the establishment of Irish Water and its financial relationship with the local government sector will have a considerable impact on local authority financing.

The Government has indicated an intention to move to 80% retention of all Local Property Tax receipts within the local authority area where the Tax is raised. The establishment of Irish Water presents local government with significant organisational and financial challenges in 2014 and, in this context, it has been necessary to defer defining a certain proportion of the proceeds of the Local Property Tax to be retained in each local authority until 2015. This approach allows maximum flexibility in allocating Local Property Tax in 2014 with the priority to support those local authorities with weaker funding bases.

The 2014 Local Government Fund General Purpose Grants will be announced in due course. In the context of the Local Government Bill 2013 currently before the House, it is proposed that an annual Budget be adopted by each local authority. While the draft legislation provides Municipal District members with statutory functions in relation to the Budgetary process, there will be no requirement to adopt a Budget at the level of the Municipal District. I do not propose therefore to make allocations from the Local Government Fund at Municipal District level.

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